Saturday, June 30, 2012

West Wemyss Gala Day

 The Summer Holidays have arrived up here in Scotland .... this was the first day out West Wemyss Gala Day'.

 West Wemyss is a small village with a strong comunity that I have visited  and blogged about before.
Today was about Kris and Robbie ...and as you can tell from the photos ....they had a great time.
 There were craft stalls and cake stalls too ...burgers on a BBQ and an ice cream van....what more would a child desire.
There was also an interesting new product  on sale, by a new company 'Chillipapas'. It is a blend of spices and a recipe, for the busy cook, to enable them to create a fast, flavourful, low fat and in some cases, fat free, curry suitable for all the family...infact the children can even help too. The creator, and father of four, whose roots are in Malasia, was there promoting all the varietes available ...needless to say I bought some to try .... I will let you know how I get on with them.

The village tried to create the feel of the galas of years gone by and sitting parked on the streets were some wonderful vintage vehicles ...which makes me feel totally vintage  as I remembered many of them being driven. Here are just a few I managed to capture.

We all had a great day dispite the three down pours and the this really Summer?

Take Care xx

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

wk160 with the Woyww Family

Hope you don’t mind me playing along with  you again …even though I have nothing to show and my desk is still buried …I feel a little bit of a cheat …but as I have been part of the family for ever, I hope its OK
 My Mojo really has gone ….except for knitting …hopefully not taking a Gap Year lol
When I look at all your desks I get excited at the thought of getting my paper and bits out …maybe finishing some half completed projects …and then ….nothing. I yearn to buy more stash but cant because the last two lots are still sitting …untouched.
 I did manage to make Kris , Ben and Jake birthday cards …here is Kris’s but I had given the other two before realizing I had not grabbed a photo  …doh.
 I received another three Atc’s this week … such lovely people to send me them, even though I had not joined in with the swap..
Top Row are from Spyder and  Cardarian                                
And Jo Pritchard, of scarf fame, is below

 Kris finishes nursery this week …this was their final open day. Kris was more interested in his snack of fruit salad than dancing …until he got Nana Anjas evil eye lol 
 and then they had an obstacle course to run around…great fun.

 And  finally ….this is Sid ….helping me eat my crisps that I should not be eating any way ….how kind of him.!!!!
Take Care xx

Nahla update ….they removed the drains and said things were looking good …another check up on Monday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nahla update

The operation went well ...she has to be kept away from the  others ...she hates her cone ...and we have to mediacate her and bathe the wound and drain area every 4 ish hours. It is quite a big wound and fingers crossed , when its checked on tuesday, there will be no sign of an infection.
Thanks for all the interest and good wishes you have sent.
Take Care xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nothing on the desk ...but I want to join in WOYWW 159.

My son and family came over at the weekend ….it was so great to see them … here are the three rascals ….the twins will be 4 on Thursday …still so tiny …but Olly makes up for their lack of size … he is only 21 months!!….they are all such characters….and they know their own mind.
 I was not expecting to get a call two days later, about their kittens. Their cat had kittens 6 weeks ago but sadly and suddenly the one I was gong to have was found all floppy in her bed.
Emma rushed her to the vet who discovered she was now blind too. It was such a shock as 8 hours earlier she was more than fine. Even the vet could not work out how a very healthy kitten could be in this state and there was only one thing to do as she was in such distress.
Emma had to explain why the kitten was not returning home with them ….Ben took it in his stride but Jake was devastated. They were told that Daddy would pick up the body and it would rest, with their other cats, in the garden and they would all be  playing at Rainbow Bridge together. When recounting this to his other Nana, Jake pointed out that Daddy would be picking up the head…and legs …and arms too.

 I really have got a lack of mojo when it comes to paper crafting at the moment but I have been knitting Beanie hats ... DD and I have chosen the ‘closer to the head’ type but Vicki wanted hers to be looser …they only take a day to create.

 Rusty is in my bad books at the moment as he seems to think the tops of these cabinets are his playground …and will not come down …even if prodded …he actually pushed a vase off while chasing his tail …it had a soft landing thank goodness.

 Maybe he is jealous of my cat collection inside and the ones on top are 'catty too. ....I have shown some before  ...but here are a few more....the one playing the clarinet was a pressy from my husband in the late '60s.

Nahla will have her operation on Thursday …bet she will be grumpy about lack of food....they say she has to loose a kilo too....fat chance.

I will try to get round to as many of you as I can ...and I prommise to be more crafty soon.
Take Care xx

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sorry no WOYWW this week

OK .....Why did no one spot that I had made two mistakes on the little knitted sets???? ....wrong colours ...they said no pastels ....and wrong ribbing on the hats ...still I doubt the babies will be worried.

Life is a bit upside down at home this week and we have to take Nahla to the vet tomorrow. She is Madisons daughter ...just 9 years old ...and  I found a lump on her nipple ....she is such a character ...I'm finding it hard to take it in. I blamed myself that Maddy had been neutered late...4 years old ...but Nahla had her op at about 18 months ...but maybe thats too late too.
I shall keep you informed
Take Care xx

Nahla Update .... she has a small cancerous tumour but we caught it early and they feel it is worth her being operated on ..unlike Maddie. She has the op on 21st. Phew it is a month of vet bills ...thank goodness they let me pay in instalments....we have too many cats for insurance.
 We thought China had a virus two weeks ago but it ended up being a decaying back tooth ... extractions are as costly as the forth comming operation.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Inverness ... part 2

 Click on the photos and they should  enlarge
 Day three was to be  a gentle walk …  past Ness church, and Inverness castle
 This red sandstone  castle was built 1836 but there have been castles on this site since 1057. The previous castle to this one,was levelled by Bonny Prince Charlie, in the late 1740’s … by using explosives.

  I then made  my way across Ness bridge where the view of the river is stunning

 and along to take a closer look at the cathedral … the Cathedral of St Andrews was completed in 1869 …it took 3 years …. funds ran out … so the original design, which had two magnificent spires,  was never completed.

 and of course have a coffee and scone in their tea room.

 I then continued the walk to wards the Ness Islands, passing the Eden Court Theatre

and on again  towards the Ness islands

 This bird looked at me as if to say ...'Yes I am a pigeon ...but its hot'
 I was not expecting a pigeon to be paddling in the

 Nearly there .....
Ness Islands is a public owned park, made of tiny islands connected to the river bank by a foot bridge …a recreational area from 1840 …packed with wild life.

 I sat and took in the tranquillity of my surrounings… and then chatted to a new mum who trained dogs and horses and finally made my way back.
My meal this day was at ‘Contrast’ …the best one of the stay …it all was magnificent but the starter of  creamed leek and potato soup with hand made tiny rolls, was the high light ….  I cant describe the pleasure on the palate.

The evening was spent knitting and watching the river from my window, as my legs were a little tired …and my face a little burnt, as the only thing I didn’t pack was sun screen …well who would have guessed we were in for a heat wave.

Day Four ....Still a heat wave and still no sunscreen.

It was the day of the boat trip on the canal and  Loch Ness.
The Caledonian Canal was constructed by Thomas Telford, a great feat of engineering . It’s construction was authorized in 1803 but not opened until 1822.The idea was to join the West Coast and the Moray Firth at the North Sea…..safer than rounding the Northern coast line. Only a third of the 62 miles were man made …the rest is through Lochs. Sadly by the time it was finished many of the new ships were too large to use it and steam ships could navigate the difficult waters, that had been the reason for its construction. It  then became a water way used more by pleasure crafts.
We started at Tomnahurich Bridge ......
 and then experienced the sounds of the river bank …how I wish I could recognise the bird song that we heard …so loud that it could be heard over the boats engine.

We made our way down to Dochgarroch Lock … this was the only one we went though as we made our way to Loch Ness. 
As  we entered the waters of the Loch we past the smallest light house in Scotland  …if not the UK … it used to guide boats into the canal  by the keeper putting an oil lamp in his bedroom window after dark …there are, thankfully, lights nowadays and the keepers house is not used.

 We saw many interesting buildings on the banks of the canal and Loch Ness….I wish I had taken notes....especially about the one that looks like one straight from a  Fairy tale.
 and the Loch and its  shore was stunning

 We turned at Urquhart Castle …this time I stayed on the boat but next time I would explore.
There is no evidence of when it was built but in 1296 there is a record of its existence. It lead a colourful life falling in and out of many hands Most of the destruction occurred in the 1690’s while preventing it falling into Jacobite hands was never repaired and the stones were plundered by locals for  building works.

On the way back I noticed these tiny weirs.. giving texture to the canal waters.

At the end of tour we were picked up by the Tour Bus and dropped not far from ‘The Mustard Seed’ restaurant…  needless to say I just had to drop in …and I was lucky to get a table.
 The starter of  an onion tart, was the high light as the puff pastry was so light it could have floated off the plate and the flavours of the contents were  like a marriage made in heaven. The main course however was a disappointment  as, although the Sea Bass was perfectly cooked, the vegetables fell short and the sauce murdered the flavour of the Bass…it seemed to be just natural yogurts with cinnamon stirred into it.

 Friday arrived and I really did not want to leave ….having devoured another wonderful breakfast I set off. Again the train journey had its ups and downs but the scenery seen through the window, was wonderful  and that is what I wanted to remember.

 …along with the gentleman who helped me with my case …even though he was at least 5 years my senior.

If you got to the end of this  ….well done … I would send you a medal if I had one ...but I hope you enjoyed sharing my holiday, with a shake of history on top,  spread over the two LONG posts
Take Care xx

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

woyww 157 …The beginning of our Fourth year together

 Three wonderful ladies asked if they could send me an ATC …even though I had not joined in with the swap….what a kind thought.

The first to arrive is one from Jo aka Twiglet.

 What can you say about this other than ……..WOW… It is absolutely stunning …the photo does not do it justice. Thank you so much Jo …I am thinking of framing it.

 What a WOYWW week we had   …whether one calls it a Birthday or an Anniversary …we celebrated by having the nose to beat all noses, around everyone’s spaces …with loads of good wishes and friendship thrown in for good measure. .I managed to comment on over 100 …sometimes they were short but at least you know I’d made it to you. …although I was prevented doing so by a few. …and I kept forgetting my number …which changed

So what is on my space?… my first two ‘Fish and chip’ sets …..???? I can hear you  wonder …the link is on last weeks WOYWW post….and on Twiglets blog….but basically they are for babies in Africa that are wrapped in newspaper after their birth, as the area is so poor.

I have tried to keep it short this week as part 2 of my holiday photos will be going up tomorrow….another over load of photos and words…even though I have really tried to thin the photos right down for you. …hope those who saw the first ones have the stamina for a second lot. …intravenous coffee maybe?
I shall do my best to get round to as many of you as I can.

Take Care xx

PS I really cant get to grips with this new blogger system ....takes me soooooooo long to post grrrrrrrrr.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

My Inverness Break….. Part One

 If you want to read it all I suggest you make a beverage and find a choccy biscuit …or three.

Like most of us who holiday in the UK, and Scotland in particular, one needs to pack for every eventuality. Having had three weeks of continual rain I was just praying for a dry spell …and having had zero temperatures at night, I was hoping that the days ahead  would at least allow the wearing of a light jacket … but no one can predict the weather not even the weather men so I set off  toward the train with a bulging suit case filled to the brim with muli - layers and warm wraps for the evenings …. relieved that it was the first dry day.
 My journey did not run as smoothly as I had hoped, as my reserved seat was occupied  but not by me and the carriages were packed … as were the luggage racks. I did however manage… through loudly sighing and exclaiming ’I just do not believe this’… to get a surly attendant to show me to one of the few remaining seats …. but who also insisted I just left my case where it was …in the way of other travellers.

I finally reached my destination, having passed through the most gorgeous scenery along tracks that rose high into the hills of Avimore and were, due to the terrain, only finally laid in the late 1890’s.
 The Guest House was a welcome sight  to the weary traveller  …built in 1830 from stones once used in a previous building and long discarded …. it was recycling at its best.

My room over looked the River Ness, a fast flowing seven mile river, apparently plentiful in salmon…and it looked so picturesque at night.

On the first night I however discovered that I had developed an allergy to muscles which put a damper on my sea food linguine … but the strawberry and the pistachio homemade ice creams that I managed to eat before escaping with an embracing scarlet face and arms, were out of this world and  the high light of the meal.
Inverness has its history but it also has its restaurants …I am sure one could eat for a year and still not eat in the same place twice…. I was so spoilt for choice when it came to lunches and evening meals …but I could only manage one deluxe repast every day … and every meal had its food high light.

Now for a bit of history
Inverness …meaning Mouth of the River Ness …lies at the end of the Great Glen and was a strong hold for the Picts . It became a town in 585AD and borough in 1158AD…. and finally a city in 2000  It is thought that these original inhabitants were given the  nick name Picti by the Romans meaning Painted Ones. The Scoti were Irish tribes who invaded the west coast line and the name probably meant Raiders. In  565AD St Columba, a Gaelic Irish missionary monk, arrived  with 12 companions and he made his way to Inverness….stopping on the way to have a word with ‘Nessie‘, after an incident on the Loch. Interesting that she has never been truly witnessed since.
Over time the two, the Picts and the Scoti ,became the Scots but a divide remained between the Highlanders and the Lowlanders until recent year.

 The new day brought early morning sun …surprisingly warm …and a wonderful breakfast…after which I set off to  find the ‘hop on and off’ Tour  Bus. This is the ultimate way to see a new city when you are not the sprightliest or robust of walkers. The day just got warmer and warmer and I felt so good, After doing the whole trip I hopped off and on a couple of times including having a wander around the Victorian Market.

And a meal in ‘The Kitchen’…the highlight was a chicken breast on a bed of haggis

 The river is lined by religious buildings …the site of the Old High Church is St Michaels Mount and  is where St Columba is said to have preached. It has had a parish church on it since  12th century … the bell tower is 15th  and 17th. and the church itself was built in the 18th  century. After the Battle of Culloden Jacobite prisoners were held within its walls and it is said, some were executed in the graveyard.

 Close by is the church which sports the highest steeple in Inverness ….  the Free North Church …completed in 1892.

 And a little further along ….the Ness church built in 1901 … which now has the Three graces sitting by its side.These were originally on top of a building in the town centre and were sculpted in 1870....they were absent from Inverness for 50years….

 And we must not forget St Andrews Cathedral on the opposite bank …to name just a few.
More of this impressive building on the next post.

 Day two ...and it was an even hotter day .... was a wander around the shopping area …just to say I had done it …and to admire some of the architecture to be seen in the town centre … fabulous reminders of  the past.

The Town House … completed1882 …built  in the Victorian gothic style

And the Toll Booth ….but what is a toll booth?
 In Scotland it usually is a  jail house …here there was a courthouse too …. the spire was built on the jail and court house  in 1791. 
 Next was a trip to Holm Mill … a retail out let which held the largest selection of preserves, chutney oatcakes and short bread …not to mention fudges and whiskeys …I had ever seen under one roof. I could have bought armfuls but I had to remind myself that I had to get it home.  Originally there were mills here but now there is an exhibition, cafĂ© and craft shop and one with woven items to buy.

I rounded the day off with a Scottish High Tea sitting in the Waterside restaurant  garden. …this is a main meal followed by a cream and jam scone and cakes, served with a pot of tea …eaten usually between 4 and 6. Having devoured this, I had to go for a wander to the Infirmary Suspension Foot Bridge built in 1881 …known as the bouncy bridge by the locals…. And yes it does bounce as you cross it …and makes you feel as though you have had one too many…not just one …and  it creaks too …so glad I was warned.

Hope you enjoyed this enough to pop by to read Day 3 and 4,  which will follow in a few days with photos of Loch Ness ...sorry no monster.
Take care xx

Friday, June 01, 2012

Where were you .......?

....when Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne ... or on her Coronation Day?

Probably many of you were not even a twinkle ....maybe your Mums were only just twinkles in your grandfathers eyes but I was five and I met my Great Aunt Bella for the first time.
She was visiting her sister for the first time in nearly ten years and she brought me a Coronation Half Crown to celebrate least I am sure thats when she brought it but the memory can play tricks.

 The day of the Coronation was easier to remember Nana, my Mum and I sat round our newly aquired 9" Television. The cabinet it was housed in, was four times its screen size. Nana had splashed out for this special occaision ...I think we may have been one of the only families in our road to have one. I cant remember anyone sitting with us but I do remember sitting through it all, for what seemed forever to a six year old, because I knew ...or was told it was something special. Now it is sixty years on ...and I know it was.

If you were more than a twinkle ...what are your memories of that time.

Take Care xx

PS. I managed to visit and leave comments to over a hundred WOYWWers over the past few day ...sorry if I didn't make it to you ...or blogger told me you did not exist ...or cyber space still has my comment floating about ...somewhere ...because I clicked too fast. lol